I forget who said this but its nice..
‘There is the dearest freshness deep inside things’
And I love that Hindi song.
Dil ko dekho chehra na dekho chehron ne laakhon ko loota
Dil saccha aur chehra jhootha.
(Look at the heart, not the face.. the face has ‘fooled’ a lot of people.
The heart is true, the face false- or like Sw. Vivekananda would say, a lesser truth)
I woke up this morning having been witness to a ‘conflict’ (I know it’s a strong word and maybe it is more politically correct to say.. ‘difference of opinion’, ‘diversity of thought’ etc.. but why not just stay with the strength of the word)
The ‘Tao of facilitation’ has been perhaps the most precious journey for me in this life which speaks to the beauty beneath conflic. A journey, which, amongst other things, has revealed this freshness, this beauty, this heart. And in a way that we discover it together, live it, be it. It is not about some ‘gyan’ (knowledge) being delivered – though that may be a part of it.. it is about seeing together, travelling together. Creating, allowing magic together. And the ever deepening view of the beauty .. within ‘conflict’, within us, in all of life. There is a greatness. A freshness. That waits. And smiles. And whispers. And tickles the soul.
We all experience conflicts in our relationships-with others and within ourselves- well most of us at least 😉 The outer conflicts undoubtedly mirror some inner stuff that is wanting to be surfaced and resolved. The word resolved has the word ‘loved’ hidden in it – yes, there are parts of us that need to be loved and accepted. And when we don’t see them inside us they meet us outside in the form of opinions and views of seemingly ‘other’ people.
I think it was Carl Jung who said something like, ‘What we refuse to accept inside us, we encounter as our fate’
And a dear friend, Joo Hock who is a devotee of Bucky Fuller and his work put it beautifully when we were starting the ‘Tao of facilitaton’ program in Singapore a year back I think. His opening comment was.. ‘I am happy to meet my other-ness-es’ I loved that. The other is really an otherness.
So, what is the beauty hidden inside Conflict?
Conflict is born when the one becomes two. And so is beauty.
The interplay of colours, the multitude of flavours, fragrances,
tastes, feelings, musical notes
when in harmony create beauty
And when in ‘harm only’ 😉
It appears as conflict… not because there is no beauty.
Only because it is hidden
Until we can see the other side and hence the whole and locate ourselves in a place beyond right/wrong, good/bad, pain/pleasure in the beautiful space of love and gratitude. Which is our essential nature. Why not nurture that or actually simply connect with that.. be that.
Some would say, ‘Easier said than done’
And I would say, Yes.. until it is easier done than said.
Until saying and doing become one.
In my experience, the beauty hidden inside conflict is:
• To discover the truth beneath and beyond what appear as polarities.
• To learn to deal with emotions and feelings that surface- so we can face them before we surf them
• To remind ourselves, that ‘conflict’ can exist only in thought and the mind. Examine the thought, question it, turn it around, play with it and we can be free of it. Located in the sweetness of the truth that the thought was hiding
• To recognise the positive intention behind all negative behaviour (e.g. Structure has a beauty and so does flow and both can also have an ugliness! Its not in the word, in the idea, the concept- but always beneath)
• To listen, to listen, to listen. To the other, to ourselves, to the moment.
• To speak from the heart and recognise that the beauty of communication is in being both completely honest and very kind at the same time.
• To be willing to wonder and see the beauty of ‘not knowing’ (which allows us to dis-cover the here and now truth vs. tired clichés about truth) I love what my friend NithyaShanti wrote in his facebook status once :
“My teacher Ajahn Chah said that contrary to what people believe, the more one ripens in wisdom, the more uncertain things become. He would often say, “Mai nae” – not sure, not a sure thing! Any sentence spoken without regard to uncertainity (e.g. “see you tomorrow!”) he considered not a wise statement.”
• To be silent and allow the wisdom of life to speak to us. It speaks often- through synchronous happenings- books, films, people, omens, bill boards- but mostly it speaks softly. Until we refuse to listen.
• To see that each of us is indeed completely responsible. Should we choose to be. And which means that we could own the intriguing task of inspiring the other to be completely responsible.
• To notice that while at the deepest level we know this, we often choose to blame and be victim. That’s comfortable. That’s human 😉 And its ok – we will see it and let go of it at the speed of life.
• To discover that there is a higher truth that holds these polarities in a beautiful balance. And this we need to arrive at together. We need to co-create. And until we are willing to do that, it is natural to “co-react”.
• Conflict reminds us that we need to discover a texture of reality that we are not seeing by perhaps over-simplifying. A line that is etched in my heart is- ‘Understanding evolves from the simplistic to the complex to the profoundly simple’. Simplistic is superficial. The profoundly simple that we arrive at after travelling through complexity honours the depth and texture of reality. We often avoid it by saying- ‘I want to keep things simple’
For example, in a gathering of facilitators, leaders as we are trying to co-create an ecology- a new way of working together very different from a traditional hierarchical organisation. We encountered a natural human resistance to go into the complexity of it. And yet, how might we arrive at the profound simplicity without that. We are learning to see that structure and flow are not opposed to each other, don’t conflict with each other – but like the masculine and feminine energies can cohere together in a beautiful unity.
There are more insights I have had. But something inside me tells me ‘enough’ for the time being. Like one of my dear friends said at the end of a poem he was writing ‘bas’ (enough in Hindi ;-)). The idea is not to overwhelm. Just to enable us to see something together.
All this and more is the learning I have had in my journey with fellow travellers, participants in ‘Tao of facilitation’. And the learning is the teaching. We always end up teaching what we most need to learn. And we teach best also that. It has been such a blessing in evolving together, enabling me and us to experience beauty, transcend duality and rest in the spacious essence beyond right/wrong.
“It is characteristic of all deep human problems that they are not to be approached without some humor and some bewilderment. After this, acting on faith becomes possible, and not before.”
— Freeman John Dyson
Above all, the gift of conflict is to take a deeper dive into consciousness. Of which happiness, joy, lightness is a beautiful expression.
I read somewhere that – Happiness has many expressions and in Hebrew there is a word for each. The happiness expressed in laughter is called Simcha.
When a person suddenly gains a straight perception of reality, the result is laughter. A flash of reality obliterates time honored falsehoods, and the soul laughs. Bare to the truth, the ‘straight of heart’ are ever open to deeper and deeper perceptions of reality. Thus their heart is sown with Simcha, the joy expressed in laughter.
All conflict reminds us to that maybe we have tightened up. And it is time to lighten up.
(Had written this on 14 June 2010 in my other blog ‘Tao of facilitation’ which I hardly update so reposting it here!)